Harken back to what feels like decades ago, but was really just the end of February. Prince Harry, speaking to a sustainable tourism summit at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in Scotland, requested the host and the attendees just call him "Harry," minus the "Prince." (Yeah, we're getting major "Oprah" vibes, too.) Now it seems the Duke of Sussex is embracing another name change.
Did Prince Harry Just Remove His Royal Surname from His Full Official Title? It Sure Looks Like It...
According to The Daily Mail, which obtained documents filed for Prince Harry's eco-tourism organization, Prince Harry is no longer using his full royal surname, "Mountbatten-Windsor" or the title of "HRH" in official documents.
Instead, Travalyst's court documents (filed in order to officially register the eco-friendly travel firm) list the name of the sixth-in-line for the throne as "Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex." Yep, it's still a mouthful, but the important distinction of zero surname has us scratching our head.
Of course, we already knew Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were dropping the honorary "His/Her Royal Highness" distinctions back in January when Queen Elizabeth stipulated they no longer use the word "royal" in their branding or full titles. According to the Spring 2020 Transition statement posted to SussexRoyal.com, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020."
Now, however, it appears Prince Harry is dropping the royal family's official last name of "Mountbatten-Windsor." Maybe this is another sign that he's distancing himself from the "firm," or just trying to fit his name onto these documents more easily, or is so used to not using his last name on official notices anyway (he's also just listed as "HRH Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex" on Archie's birth certificate).
Quick refresher: All male descendants of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip formally carry the last name Mountbatten-Windsor (a combination of Elizabeth and Philip’s last names). However, Prince William and Kate Middleton decided to just use "Cambridge" as their last name, presumably to make it easier for George and Charlotte "Cambridge" when they're at school.
However, baby Archie's full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and is listed on his birth certificate as such. Perhaps Harry (and Markle, as well) decided to no longer use the surname of his grandparents anymore, or perhaps they just filed the documents this way.
This news fuels speculation that Harry and Meghan are planning to adopt a new surname now that they're no longer working royals. Our best guess for a replacement would be to permanently adopt the name “Sussex,” aka their substantive title (meaning it’s passed down through the royal family to other members).
Or, they could just pull a "Bill and Melinda" and go by "Harry and Meghan." We would all know exactly who that refers to, no last names required.